Changes proposed by Trump could open up big estate planning opportunities

With proposals to repeal the federal estate tax and the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax on the table, the new administration may be opening up some rare estate planning options.

Under President Donald Trump’s proposal, the current step-up in basis for income tax purposes on assets owned at death would be limited to $10 million of assets. The intention, according to the proposal, is to exempt small businesses and family farms.

It’s likely that assets exceeding $10 million in value would be either subject to carryover basis rules of some kind or would be subject to capital gains tax at death. Under Trump’s proposal, the current capital gains tax rate of 20 percent would be retained. [Read more…]

2013 unclaimed tax refunds

The IRS announced that an estimated one million taxpayers who did not file an income tax return in 2013 could claim their share of $1 billion in unclaimed refunds for the 2013 tax year. The law gives most taxpayers a three-year time period to claim a tax refund. After that time, the money belongs to the U.S. Treasury. So if you did not file in 2013, to be safe, send your 2013 tax return via certified mail to arrive at the IRS by April 18.

Springtime remodeling – know the tax impacts

Spring fever often influences homeowners to update and remodel. Maybe you’re considering a new project, too. You may need to replace your deck or remodel your kitchen. If you have a remodeling project coming up, you should understand the tax consequences.

If your project qualifies as an improvement to your home, you’ll enjoy some tax benefits. But if the project is a repair, there’s generally no tax benefit. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to tell the difference.

An improvement is defined by the IRS as something that adds value to your home or extends its life. Putting in a new kitchen, building an extension or adding a new deck are considered improvements because they add value. Replacing the roof is an improvement because it extends the life of your home. [Read more…]

IRS interest rates remain the same for second quarter 2017

Interest rates charged by the IRS on underpaid taxes and applied by the IRS on tax overpayments will remain the same for the second quarter of 2017 (April 1 through June 30). Therefore, the rates will be as follows for individuals and corporations:

For individuals:

  • 4% charged on underpayments; 4% paid on overpayments.

[Read more…]

Apply for an extension if you can’t file by April 18

Tax time can be stressful, but don’t panic if you can’t file your tax return on time. There’s still time to get an automatic six-month deadline extension.

There are four ways to obtain an extension:

  1. File a paper copy of Form 4868 with the IRS and enclose your payment of estimated tax due.
  2. File for an extension electronically using the IRS e-file system on your computer.
  3. Using Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, pay all or part of your estimated income tax due and indicate that the payment is for an extension.
  4. Have your tax preparer e-file for an extension on your behalf.

[Read more…]

What’s due on April 18?

Tuesday, April 18, is a major tax deadline. Here are some of the tax filing and related deadlines:

  • 2016 individual income tax returns.
  • Calendar-year 2016 C corporation income tax returns.
  • 2016 annual gift tax returns.
  • 2016 IRA contributions.
  • 2017 individual estimated tax first quarter installment.
  • 2013 individual tax return amendments unless the 2013 return had a filing extension.

Can you make a trust trump a will

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

My Grandfather died leaving money and assets to my father who was alive when my grandfather died, now my grnadmother still lived but went behind my fathers back and made a trust to kick him out of the will and had thier attorney never settle the will after my grandfather died and now doesnt want to give my father anything. they told us she made the trust to trump the will can they do that without contacting the parties in the will and go to court for the change?

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS BELIVEAU:

Your grandfather’s Will only governs probate property. If all of his assets were owned jointly with your grandmother, then those assets are hers to do with as she sees fit. I am not sure what you mean by not settling the will. I am assuming that the probate was not opened. One would not have been needed if the assets were held jointly.
If a probate was opened, you can obtain a copy of the Will from the probate court to review for yourself. If your grandmother took assets without authority, your father will need to hire an attorney to intervene in the situation.

Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.

Beliveau Law Group: Massachusetts | Florida | New Hampshire

The estate administration attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provides legal services for probate, estate administration, and trust administration. The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Salem, New Hampshire.

What can we do about a discrepancy between a verbal agreement and the wording in a will?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

My husband’s mother asked us to move to her property to take care of it after she remarried when her husband died. She would then give the house and five acres to us in her will. She gave money to her oldest son and said she would take an equal amount off what the youngest son owed on a loan. Their mom has passed away. The will states the house and acres go to my husband. However it does not say this is separate from the rest of the estate. His older brother has passed away. Now his other brother says the house goes back into the pot and that he never received anything. Everyone,including this brother was aware of the verbal agreement.

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS BELIVEAU:

You need to submit the Will for probate and follow the terms of the Will as it is written. You have no authority to change the terms. If the younger brother wishes to challenge the Will, he will need to do so through the probate process. If there is already contention, you should hire an attorney for the probate process.

Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.

Beliveau Law Group: Massachusetts | Florida | New Hampshire

The estate administration attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provides legal services for probate, estate administration, and trust administration. The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Salem, New Hampshire.

My mother died so I was appointed the PR over the estate when I did the deed of distribution I did it in all Four heirs name

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

My brother has been told he has cancer so it was to my understanding that the estate would be left to the other three to keep things straight ; then after his sickness 2 heirs had words leaving their share to the youngest of their gran children is this possible ?

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS BELIVEAU:

As personal representative, it is your responsibility to distribute the estate assets according to the terms of your mother’s heirs as named in her Will or according to the intestate statute if she didn’t have a Will. You have no authority to distribute property to anyone else other than the heirs. If you do, you will create a title problem. Your siblings can transfer their ownership of the property to whomever they wish after you deed the property to them.

Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.

Beliveau Law Group: Massachusetts | Florida | New Hampshire

The estate administration attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provides legal services for probate, estate administration, and trust administration. The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Salem, New Hampshire.

Is my tax preparer liable for understating my income ?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

My tax preparer did not include my wife’s Social Security income on my 2015 Federal and State taxes. Now I received a bill from the IRS, plus interest charges.

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS BELIVEAU:

You are still responsible for the tax whether or not he failed to input the data into the return. As a taxpayer, it is your responsibility to review the return before you sign and submit it to the IRS. You are obligated to pay the tax and the interest. Typically, if you use the same accountants or tax attorneys each, they will correct their mistake by paying the interest because they want to keep you as a client.

Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.

Beliveau Law Group: Massachusetts | Florida | New Hampshire

The tax attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provides legal services for taxation. The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Salem, New Hampshire.